Author Interview: Scott Westerfeld

October 5, 2010, Posted by Donna at 7:00 am

We were so lucky a couple years back to feature Scott Westerfeld’s Midnighter’s Series on Twilight Moms and a couple months ago we featured the Uglies Series right here on Eve’s Fan Garden! I cannot tell you how excited I am that we are featuring yet another of his books this month!

Scott’s most recent release, Leviathan, is set in World War I is full of adventure! Leviathan is quickly becoming a steampunk classic! To find out more about Leviathan, check out the official Leviathan page. You will find video clips, a book synopsis, clips from the audio book, goodies, and samples of the art!

We are super excited to celebrate the release of Scott Westerfeld’s newest book, Behemoth, the sequel to Leviathan! In honor of Behemoth hitting the shelves today, we have a very special interview with Scott Westerfeld, the question submitted by our very own Eve’s Fan Garden readers!

Happy Release day, Scott!!!


Eve’s Fan Garden: How did you decide to write about the WW1 time period for the Leviathan series?

Scott Westerfeld: When I was growing up, my parents had a bunch of ancient “boys’ own adventures” in the attic. They had titles like “A Trip to Mars” and “Across Africa by Airship!”, and also had really cool illustrations, which had disappeared from contemporary teen and adult novels. What they didn’t have was any cool female characters. So I thought it would be fun to recreate one of those old books, with lots of dicing with death and adventure, and also illustrations. World War I seemed the right stage in history, because it was a period of huge technological change, from cavalry to tanks and airplanes, from semaphore to radio, etc. It was also about that time that pictures started vanishing from adult books.


EFG: In all of your books, you create such imaginative and believable new worlds. How do you come up with the ideas for the settings? What kind of research do you use to plan the worlds out? Maps? The internet?

SW: I start with the characters and work my way outward. For example, if my protagonist is a working-class girl, I ask myself what are all the things about this world that make her life the way it is. Where does she get her food? Safety? Happiness? What threatens her? How does she talk? Then I work out from that, moving around all the bigger pieces of machinery that may be outside her horizons, but which still affect her. I think starting from something small creates a more personal and realistic world than, say, starting with a map of a whole country, on which this girl would only be a pinprick.


EFG: Will there be any more books in the Midnighter’s Series?

SW: No, I’m afraid not. That series is done.


EFG: Do you have a favorite outstanding character from all of your books?

SW: I think Deryn (from Leviathan) is my current favorite. The girl in a bygone age pretending to be a boy in order to do cool stuff has always been one of my best-loved character types. I used to have a lot of Glaswegian friends, so writing her Scottish accent is fun too. Also, she has a cool mix of lots of competence with almost no sophistication. (This makes her the opposite of Alek, the boy character in the book.)


EFG: Finally, Team Zane or Team David? One reader really wants to know…

SW: Team Shay! (But yeah, Zane too.)


Thanks, Scott for an awesome interview! (although, I would have expected you to say Team Zombie on that last question!!!)

Check back later this month for a Leviathan Contest!


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